Read an excerpt from Piper Rayne’s upcoming release ~ The Bartender



Title: The Bartender
Series: Modern Love #1
Author: Piper Rayne
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2017



Who knew sleeping with the enemy could be this fun? Was the one night stand a good idea?

Well, no. Probably not in retrospect.In my defense I had just moved back into my grandparent’s house, I’d lost my dream job, and a guy on Tinder had stood me up. It was like life had suddenly stamped ‘LOSER’ on my forehead.

So when the guy behind the bar started giving me THE look…you know, the one that promised I’d be screaming his name into the wee hours of the morning? When that guy also has the perfect amount of scruff on his chiseled chin, biceps bulging out of his t-shirt, and a cocky grin you knew he’d earned in the sack…when he gives you that look, you don’t bother to figure out what your six degrees of separation are. You jump on that horse and ride it!

Pun fully and completely intended. And accurate by the way.

I fully admit to feeling sorry for myself and acting impulsively, but by the time I’d figured out WHO the bartender was, I was already falling for him.






An hour and a half later and hot stuff has come around the bar to take the seat beside me and join me on my mission to get shit-faced. I have to admit, I’m enjoying his company, but it doesn’t exactly make him Employee of the Year given the fact that he’s supposed to be working.“Won’t your boss be mad that you’re drinking on the job?” I ask.

That damn dimple makes another appearance again before he answers. “Nah, he’s cool. It’s dead in here tonight. If anyone comes in, I’ll be sure they get what they need.” His gaze rakes up and down my small frame, and I get the distinct impression that he’s picturing me naked.

Jeez, I hope my nakedness looks amazing in his brain. Given the half-crooked smile on his face, I think it must. I wonder if his imagination is good enough to picture that dimple in my ass that doesn’t ever seem to want to disappear, regardless of how much I weigh.

As if he’s tempted fate with his words, the bell over the door dings and an older gentleman walks in and seats himself at one of the bar tables across the room.

“Be right back.” Cole pats my hand before he rises from his seat.

It was an innocent gesture, but it makes me think dirty things. The heat from his hand seeps up my arm like a bee sting and settles somewhere in my chest.

I watch him walk away and can’t help but notice the way his ass perfectly fills out his jeans. It bunches and flexes as his long strides take him across the bar. Maybe Lennon is right and it has been too long since I’ve been with a man.

It’s then that I realize that Tinder dude still hasn’t shown up. The bar isn’t busy, probably since it’s the middle of the week, and I’ve been chatting—okay, flirting—with Cole and hadn’t realized how much time had passed. I grab my phone from my purse and open the app to see that I have a new message.

Pussylickr69: Not coming. Sorry found someone else who wasn’t so much werk. Fury causes my face to heat as I type out a quick reply that might be, and by that I mean most definitely is, alcohol-fueled. Whiteebanter: Yeah, I can see how thirty minutes of conversation is too much foreplay for you. Fuck you and your lack of knowledge of the English language. You spell work with an ‘o,’ dipshit. There. That’ll show him. With a frown, I drop my phone back into my purse.“Everything okay?” Cole asks as he takes the seat beside me again.

I sigh. “Yeah, I just found out that Pussylicker isn’t coming anymore.”

Cole nearly spits out the sip of drink he’s just taken and has a coughing fit before he fully recovers. “Excuse me?”

“I was waiting for a guy from Tinder to show up, but he just ditched me because apparently it was too much work to have a drink with me before taking me back to his place to bang me.” I spin my glass in place on the bar top.

“You’re trolling for guys on Tinder?” Cole howls with laughter so hard he has to hold his stomach. I love the way the laugh looks on his face—the way it crinkles his eyes at the corners and how it showcases his perfect teeth. But all that aside, it’s irritating.

“It’s not that funny.” This guy might be hot, but right now he’s working my nerves.

“Actually, it is. Why the hell would a woman like you resort to finding someone to fuck on a dating site?”

The way the word ‘fuck’ rolls off his tongue has all my womanly parts contracting and wishing that it was an invitation to do just that. But never mind that, because I’m annoyed at him, I just barely remember through my drunken haze.

“What do you mean a woman like me?” I try to do air quotes around the last part, but my balance isn’t what it was three hours ago, and I almost topple off my stool, so I quickly grab on to the bar in front of me.

“Beautiful. Intelligent. Likable. Smartass.” He ticks each word off on one hand while he speaks and he says it like he means it. I hold his stare for a minute before realization dawns.

“Hey! I’m a B.I.L.F. You know, like a M.I.L.F. Only different.” I’m so impressed that I thought of that given my current state.

Cole chuckles with an amused gleam in his eyes. “Only better,” he says.

Our gazes lock for a beat and it’s at that moment I know that if I offer myself up to this guy, he’ll be more than willing to send me on the walk of shame tomorrow morning. Heat rushes into my cheeks and I look away. As much bravado as I had earlier about my Tinder escapade, I’m not sure I can do this. Be this girl so full of confidence that she bangs a stranger with no qualms about it.

My elation has crash-landed on the ground as I realize I’m not able to pull the trigger and make an advance toward him. I also know I’ll probably regret it forever because this man is so far beyond good-looking that it’s a speck in the rear-view mirror. Not to mention the fact that he’s sexy as hell and seems to be a decent human being. Which is more impossible to find in the Bay area than someone who doesn’t think they’re allergic to gluten.

I take a deep breath and finish the last couple of gulps of my drink and push the glass in Cole’s direction.

“Another, please.”

Cole tosses back the rest of his drink and I watch as his Adam’s apple bobs in his throat while the liquid slides down.

Damn. That is sexy.

Why is that sexy?

“I’m going to join you for another as well.” He gets up off his bar stool and before walking away he comes to stand directly behind me. “Assuming you want me to stick around?”

His breath washes across my neck and my ear and I close my eyes for a brief moment to enjoy the sensation. “I’d like that,” I say with all honesty.

“Good. I know the first guy let you down, but don’t worry… I’ve been told I lick pussy like a boss.”

And with that, he walks away while I struggle to keep my heart from pounding out of my chest.

I’m out of my league with this guy. I know it and there’s a good chance that he knows it, too.

But ask yourself this, ladies… if you were called up to the big leagues from the minors, would you say no?


Author Bio


Piper Rayne, or Piper and Rayne, whichever you prefer because we’re not one author, we’re two. Yep, you get two established authors for the price of one. You might be wondering if you know us? Maybe you’ll read our books and figure it out. Maybe you won’t. Does it really matter?

We aren’t trying to stamp ourselves with a top-secret label. We wanted to write without apology. We wanted to not be pigeon holed into a specific outline. We wanted to give readers a story without them assuming how the story will flow. Everyone has their favorite authors, right? And when you pick up their books, you expect something from them. Whether it’s an alpha male, heavy angst, a happily ever after, there’s something you are absolutely certain the book will contain. Heck, we’re readers, too, we get it.What can we tell you about ourselves? We both have kindle’s full of one-clickable books. We’re both married to husbands who drive us to drink. We’re both chauffeurs to our kids. Most of all, we love hot heroes and quirky heroines that make us laugh, and we hope you do, too.

Author Links

Excerpt Reveal! Tempting Tristan by Melissa Foster

Melissa Foster has a sexy new M/M romance coming and today we’re revealing a sexy new excerpt to TEMPTING TRISTAN! Check it out!


Title: Tempting Tristan

Author: Melissa Foster

Genre: M/M contemporary romance

Date: October 19th


Tempting Tristan is a stand-alone M/M romance featuring two sexy, hot alphas.


Fresh off the heels of yet another bad relationship, Tristan Brewer is taking a break from men to try and figure out where he keeps going wrong. He knows his biggest fault–he leads with his heart, not his head–and that’s never going to change. But after several introspective weeks, he’s beginning to get a handle on things. That is, until badass heartthrob Alex Wells walks into his bar…


Alex has spent eight years in the Army, months in a hospital bed, and far too long hiding his sexual identity. He’s guilt-ridden, damaged, pissed off, and up for a Silver Star–for the incident that nearly cost him his life, and kept him from his grandmother’s funeral. But all he wants to do is forget his stint with the institution that allows but doesn’t necessarily accept, and live the life he’s always dreamed of.


The chemistry between Tristan and Alex ignites from the moment they meet, and the more time they spend together the hotter the flames become. But the closer Tristan gets, the more Alex’s walls go up, and when the two walk onto a military base, Tristan finds out Alex’s physical scars aren’t the ones that run the deepest.



“Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely


“With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!” New York Times Bestseller J. Kenner


“Catching Cassidy is laugh out loud funny, heartwarming, sexy, and hands down one of my favorite reads so far this year!” #1 NYT Bestselling Author of The Bet, Rachel Van Dyken


HARBORSIDE NIGHTS is a sexy, hot, and evocatively real series of stand-alone romances that follows a group of friends who have known one another for years as “summer” friends, and now come together after college to build their lives. They’re tough, edgy, and accepting–most of the time. This series is written in the same loving, raw, and emotional voice readers have come to love by New York Times & USA Today bestselling, award-winning author Melissa Foster with LGBT themes.


Preorder Links:








Exclusive Excerpt:

“Can I ask you something? You don’t have to answer.”

Tristan shrugs. “Have at it.”

“Why were you taking a break? I get that your ex was a prick, but is there more to it?”

He looks down the street, across the street, and then his hand cruises through his hair as it has so often that I’ve already come to expect it when he’s nervous.

“Ian was a prick, but the rest is going to make me sound like a pussy,” he admits.

“I’ve only known you a day, and I already know nothing can make you sound like a pussy.”

He meets my gaze, and his jaw tightens. He lifts his chin and I recognize the struggle between feeling proud and worrying about looking weak. I fight that battle on a daily basis.



About Melissa Foster:


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance (M/F, M/M, F/F), romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success.


Melissa has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Her interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping others see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.


Melissa is available to chat with book clubs and welcomes comments and emails from her readers. Visit Melissa on Facebook or her personal website.


Never miss a brand new release, special promotions or inside gossip again by simply signing up to receive your newsletter from Melissa.


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Excerpt Reveal! Read an excerpt from the upcoming Boondocks by Casey Peeler!



From the first beat of the song, I begin to sing every dang word to her, and she begins to laugh as I put on the bad boy front that everyone already believes. As verse two starts, I move in closer to her, and when he references the bad toy in the parking lot, I point to where my bike’s parked. She takes a step toward me, and I hope and pray that her dad is not looking because it’s about to get hot in here… quick. Chauna begins to sway her hips in rhythm with me and sing right along with me. As the final chorus plays, she looks over her shoulder and smiles as she turns to whisper into my ear.

“Walker, I wanna bad boy,” she says with a slight laugh. When the song ends, we wait for the next, and as I look toward the tables, I see Logan. It’s obvious he’s pissed, which isn’t what I need because I really wanted to be his friend.

As Jackson’s Wheel takes the stage again, we get a drink, and around eleven when the adults begin to show, we decide to head out to our spot. Once we get there, we don’t waste any time getting as close to each other as possible.

My hands find her skin, and she begins to laugh. “What’s so funny?” I ask.

“Nothing, bad boy,” she says.

“Oh, you want a bad boy, huh?” I say roughly.

“Damn right, I do.”


Boondocks by Casey Peeler releases on October 25th.


“One twist of the lid changed everything…”






Goodreads: (add this to your TBR)


#PreOrder #ComingSoon #OneClick #99cents



One twist of the lid changed everything…


The devil sat on my shoulder from my first breath, he watched my every move, and with the first strike of lightnin’ I was pulled under.


Walking into Boondocks the voice of an angel called to me and I vowed to live a better life.  She kept me on the righteous path until Satan called one last time.


It was time to take him down or lose my angel forever.



About the Author:



Casey Peeler grew up in North Carolina and still lives there with her husband and daughter.


Growing up Casey wasn’t an avid reader or writer, but after reading Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neal Hurston during her senior year of high school, and multiple Nicholas Sparks’ novels, she found a hidden love and appreciation for reading.  That love ignited the passion for writing several years later, and her writing style combines real life scenarios with morals and values teenagers need in their daily lives.


When Casey isn’t writing, you can find her near a body of water listening to country music with a cold beverage and a great book.


Connect with Casey




Instagram: @AuthorCasey

Snapchat: @authorcpeeler




Excerpt Reveal!! The Sexy One by Lauren Blakely


“Your language skills are better than your French-braiding skills,” she teases as she shuts her iPad.

I pretend to be insulted. “So not true. I can do French braids with my eyes closed.”

She shakes her head. “Somehow, I doubt that.”

“I’ll prove it to you.”

She tilts her head, and her hand freezes on her purse. “Prove it?” she asks quietly.

Somehow I’ve thrown a gauntlet I didn’t realize I was tossing. I do the only natural next thing—follow through. “Sure. Got one of those hair tie things?”

She nods slowly. “Yes, but . . .” Her voice trails off. Then she resumes the thought. “You really learned to French braid?”

I nod. “Hayden insisted on it,” I explain then study her face. Her pupils are dilated, and she blinks. Ah hell, I’ve made her wary with my remark. “I don’t have to prove it. I was just teasing,” I say, giving her an out. Mildly flirty comments are one thing—hands in hair are another.

A small grin spreads on her face, as she dips her hand into her purse and produces a black elastic band. “No, I insist. You were horrible last time. Have at it.”

She drops to the floor, scoots over to me, and with her shoulder, she nudges my right knee.

Hello, slippery slope. Funny to see you again so soon.

Her other shoulder bumps my other knee. There’s no need to think—I widen my legs more and let her settle in between them. I’m seated on the couch, she’s on the floor, and she waits for me to braid her hair.

As I stare at her lush, blond locks, the breath escapes my lungs. For a moment, it’s as if I’m hovering in a state of suspended want. Like this is the real line we’re crossing. Not me bringing her dessert, or touching the corner of her lips, or gazing at her face longer than I should. Not even sending texts about a pair of wild birds or making comments about showers and nudity.

But this.

Touching her hair.

Fuck, I love her hair.

I slide the tie over my wrist, then gather up some strands near the top of her head. “Confession,” I say in a quiet voice. “I watched a few YouTube videos after you taught me.”

She leans back, and I can feel her smile. “Like I said, prove it.”

“It’s on.” I focus on the task of separating her honey-blond hair into three sections, running my fingers through them like a comb. I lift the first strand and lay it over the middle one, then the left, gathering more hair into the next section.

After I failed at her first French braid lesson, I took it upon myself to learn. I don’t like not being able to master basic skills. A man should be able to braid his daughter’s hair.

And his woman’s hair.

“How does it look?” Her voice sounds a little breathy.

“Like it was braided by a man who learned by watching YouTube videos,” I answer.

She laughs lightly and leans into me more, inching closer. My hands still for a moment. I feel like I’m in high school again. Like I have a crush on a girl, and I don’t know what to do, where to go next, what to say.

The thing is, I do know. I just don’t know that I should. But I know what I want. There’s no doubt in my mind. I want to touch her, to kiss her, to feel her body press against mine. Even the chance to touch her like this is intoxicating, a rush of blood to the head. Her waves of hair are soft, and they feel spectacular falling through my fingers. I can’t picture a single thing besides running my hands through these strands as I kiss her, as I touch her, as she moves beneath me.

From NYT Bestselling author Lauren Blakely, comes a swoony new standalone romance…

Want a romance guaranteed to make you melt? Get ready to fall in love on October 17th!
Pre-Order NOW!

Amazon Paperback:


Sign up for Lauren’s newsletter to receive an alert when THE SEXY ONE is live on Kindle on release day at

Let me count the ways why falling into forbidden love is not my wisest move…

1. She works with me every single day.

Did I mention she’s gorgeous, sweet, kind and smart?

2. She works in my home.

Playing with my five-year-old daughter. Teaching my little girl. Cooking for my princess. Which means…

3. She’s the nanny.

And that makes her completely off-limits…But it doesn’t stop me from wanting her. All of her.
The other nannies in this city don’t call him the Sexy One for nothing. My boss, the amazingly wonderful single father to the girl I take care of every day is ridiculously hot, like movie star levels with those arms, and those eyes, and that body. Not to mention, the way he dotes on his little girl melts me all over. But what really makes my knees weak are the times when his gaze lingers on me. In secret. When no one else is around.
I can’t risk my job for a chance at something more…can I? But I don’t know how to resist him much longer either…

**The audiobook will release the same day as the eBook on October 17th and will be narrated by Sebastian York and Andi Arndt!**
About the Author

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With eleven New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than sixty times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone romantic comedies like BIG ROCK, MISTER O and WELL HUNG, which were instant New York Times Bestsellers. In the fall she’ll release THE SEXY ONE, a swoony contemporary romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter at





Lauren Blakely Goodreads:

$25 Amazon Gift Card

New Release! 4 Star review + Read an excerpt from Crushing on Love by Melissa Foster

Today we have the release week blitz by Crushing on Love by Melissa Foster! Check out the excerpt and grab your copy today!


About Crushing on Love:


The Bradens are a series of stand alone novels that may also be enjoyed as part of the larger series.


“You can always rely on Melissa Foster to deliver a story that’s fresh, emotional and entertaining. Make sure you have all night, because once you start you won’t want to stop reading. Every book’s a winner!” NYT Bestselling Author Brenda Novak


“With her wonderful characters and resonating emotions, Melissa Foster is a must-read author!” New York Times Bestseller Julie Kenner


“Melissa Foster is synonymous with sexy, swoony, heartfelt romance!” New York Times Bestseller Lauren Blakely



Steve Johnson is living his life’s passion watching over the Colorado Mountains as a ranger and wildlife consultant. But his peaceful life is upended when overzealous and insanely beautiful Shannon Braden flits back into his life after returning from a brief trip home to Maryland. He thought his attraction to her was under control—after all, she’s only in Colorado temporarily, and he doesn’t do casual affairs.


Shannon’s return to Colorado has as much to do with the game of cat and mouse she and Steve have been playing as it does the data she’s been hired to collect. But despite her efforts to explore the undeniable heat simmering between them, Steve’s intent on keeping his distance.


When a ranch abutting the national park goes up for sale, Steve will do whatever it takes to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. And when all his attempts fail, he’s left with no alternative but to follow Shannon’s guidance into the online world he abhors in order to raise the funds. The more time they spend together, the deeper their attraction becomes, and a game of cat and mouse turns into an unstoppable connection. But when Shannon’s assignment comes to an end, will it mean an end to them, too?


WANT MORE BRADENS? All Braden books can be read as stand-alone novels or as part of the series:


THE BRADENS (Peaceful Harbor, MD)

Healed by Love (Nate)

Surrender My Love (Cole)

River of Love (Sam)

Crushing on Love (Shannon)

Whisper of Love (Tempest)

Thrill of Love (Ty)


The Bradens are part of the Love in Bloom big family romance collection. Characters from each sub-series appear in future books.


Grab Your Copy Today!!

Amazon | Nook | Kobo | GPLAY | Ibooks | Smashwords | Paperback: Amazon US

My Review:

4/5 Stars!

**happy sigh**

I love Melissa Foster’s books! She writes real characters with real issues. I was super excited to read the next in The Braden’s series.

Steve and Shannon are such an unlikely couple. Complete opposites. Steve prefers his solitude and Shannon is the epitome of a people person. They met in the past and Shannon has never really forgotten him. She’s at a crossroads in her life and decides to take some time to figure things out. She moves back and decides to see if something can happen with Steve. Unfortunately for Shannon, Steve is not a casual kind of guy. Shocker in this day and age of books, right?! However, Steve finds he needs her help.

I rooted for these two from from opening pages of the book. I these two characters. They are some of my favorite of all Melissa’s characters.

I hope you read this and love it as much as I do!

Exclusive Excerpt:


SHANNON WATCHED STEVE swing his ax. He was built like the very mountains he loved: strong and stable, with layers of hard-earned muscles born from honest, hard work. Pure perfection. And that hair? Lord. What would it be like to fist her hands in his hair and kiss him? To touch all those hard planes of muscle? To discover the man behind the walls? She told herself those were wants not needs, no matter how much they felt like it. The kind of unrelenting wants that bring a girl to reach beneath the sheets and satisfy her fantasies.

Down, girl.

Shannon had been surprised by how much she’d missed Steve when she’d gone home for her eldest brother Cole’s wedding. She and Steve hadn’t spent more than a few stolen moments together during the weeks she was here for her first assignment. Usually she’d catch him working on equipment, or in his yard, before she returned to her uncle’s ranch in the evenings. He’d captivated her with his passion for, and endless knowledge about, all things wilderness related. And he was different from most of the guys she knew. He wasn’t hung up on his looks or material things. He was real, with a strong set of values and priorities. Somehow, between their almost daily conversations and weeks of hoping she’d see him, she’d become completely and utterly taken with him.

When she’d been offered the assignment and the cabin, she’d accepted without hesitation. She’d missed Steve too much to deny the attraction, and she wanted to see if something might come of it.

Now that she was here, her body was thrumming at the mere sight of him. Given that she’d actually asked him about his sex life—and nearly died on the spot when the question slipped out—she desperately needed to rein herself in.

He wiped sweat from his brow, his tanned skin glistening in the morning sun. “Need anything from town?” he asked, setting another log on the stump.

She couldn’t pry her eyes from his rippling abs and his bulbous biceps flexing with every move. “Town?”

He cocked a smile and hoisted the ax again. “Town. You know, the place where people who like Pinterest live?”

She forced her eyes away, glancing at the trees swaying in the breeze, the rocks at her feet, anywhere but at him.

“I know what town is. I’m just surprised you’re going there.” Everyone knew Steve hated to leave his precious mountain.

“Gotta take care of some business.”

Going into town was a big deal. Unlike a quick trip to the store from her apartment in Peaceful Harbor, the drive into town took at least thirty to forty-five minutes, depending on which town he was going to. She’d realized last night she’d forgotten two very important supplies. Pop-Tarts and toilet paper. She could probably live with the single roll of toilet paper she had in the cabin for another few days if she needed to, but Pop-Tarts were pretty much a necessity. Besides, maybe she could convince Steve to help her scout gray-fox habitats at dusk. Perfect!

“Can I come with you?” she asked hopefully. “I need to pick up a few things.”

“I’ll get them for you. What do you need?”

She bit her lower lip, willing herself not to fib. But if she asked him to pick up what she really needed, he’d leave and she’d have to go searching for habitats by herself. Now that she’d thought about going later with her yummy mountain man, she’d already settled on it in her mind.

“It’s girl stuff. You won’t want to get it.” So much for not fibbing. “Can I please go with you?” She gave him her best pleading look. “I promise not to talk your ear off.” Fib, fib, fib! She had no control over what came out of her mouth, especially around him.

He muttered under his breath and set the ax against the stump. “I’m not making a hundred stops.”

She leapt with delight and ran over to hug him. Her heel slipped out of her boot and she stumbled into him in a half hug, half full-body-draped-over-Steve embrace. His skin was hot, his body was hard, and getting harder by the second. He smelled like man and musk, and…she was still plastered against him.

She cleared her throat and managed, “Thank you.” Using his chest for leverage—yum, yum—she found her footing and pressed her heel back into her boot. “One stop. That’s it. Promise.”

“You’re excited to get those supplies.” He picked up the logs he’d chopped and piled them on his forearm like they were toothpicks.

“I’m just excited to be back. Maybe at dusk you can help me map out the habitats? It’ll be fun to scope them out together.”

He gave her a curious look. “Haven’t heard anyone describe hanging out with me as fun in a long time.”

“Then you’re hanging out with losers, and I’m taking that as a yes.” She grabbed the coffee mugs, unable to stop smiling.

“I’m leaving in twenty minutes.”

“I’ll be back lickety-split.” With a bounce in her step, she headed toward her cabin and heard him mutter, “Lickety-split,” followed by a chuckle.



About Melissa Foster:


Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.


Connect with Melissa:








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Machine by Normandie Alleman Excerpt Reveal!




Title: Machine: A Bad Boy Romance
Series: Barnes Family #2
Author: Normandie Alleman
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 19, 2016


The Queen of Reality TV meets the Kingpin of Porn

She’s trying to clean up her act.

He’ s a purveyor of filth.
It will never work.
But don’t tell them that.

Dynassy Barnes isn’t known for her big heart.

She is, however, known for her heart-shaped ass and the selfies she shares with her army of social media followers. So when she meets a handsome former SEAL, she thinks she may have scored a love connection and a way to redeem her reputation with fans.

Bridger Thompson is a man of many secrets.

When an explosion in Iraq damaged his ability to satisfy his then-fiance, he never dreamed the machine he built to carry out his husbandly duties would turn into a business featuring women pleasuring themselves with it on camera. A business that could never be associated with The Barnes’ Family, the darlings of reality TV.

But Dynassy stirs a desire Bridger hasn’t felt in years, and he’s dead set on laying claim to the famous beauty—even though he fears he won’t be able to love her the way she deserves.

For that, he’d need to become a MACHINE.


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“So, I’m not a stranger?” Bridger teased.When he held me in his arms like that, the last thing he felt like was a stranger.

“No,” I managed shyly. I couldn’t believe how comfortable I was around him. He and I came from different worlds, but his embrace seemed like the safest place in the world. I suspected those big strong arms that just pulled me around the dance floor could protect me better than any man I’d ever met.

“Want to dance some more?” he asked.

“Yes.” I nodded enthusiastically.

We whirled across the floor, his hand on the small of my back guiding me, the muscles on the back of his neck pulsing under my fingertips. He smelled better than I would have dreamed—a combination of sandalwood and leather that spurred a sense of longing that made me imagine kissing his earlobe.

But before I could summon the courage to do it, the band stopped playing, and Bridger grabbed my hand. “Ready?”

I was ready for anything he wanted, so I said, “Sure.”

He walked me out to the parking lot and stood by an old gray pickup truck. That didn’t surprise me, but when he opened the passenger door to the eggplant-colored Dodge Viper next to it, I was caught off guard.

“I thought—” I started, but then tried to stop myself before I said something stupid, or worse, insulting.

He chuckled. “That the pickup was mine?”

I smiled, but didn’t answer.

“I get it.” Then he mumbled something about an inheritance and got behind the wheel. So, the mechanic, who’d been wounded in combat and was a SEAL no less, was also an heir of some sort. The better I got to know Bridger, the more I realized he was much more complicated than I’d originally thought.

There was a lot more to him than that deliciously curly brown hair and those piercing green eyes.


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 Author Bio
A former psychologist, Normandie has always been fascinated by human behavior. She loves writing quirky characters that are all too human. Fiber arts, baking, and Pinterest are a few of her favorite pastimes. A shamelessly proud basketball mom, Normandie lives on a farm with a passel of kids, an adorable husband, and a pet pig who’s crazy for Red Bull. If you’d like up to the minute new release info on Normandie’s books text RACYREADS to 24587 (Use all CAPS).
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Better Love by Daisy Prescott Excerpt Reveal!


Today we are revealing an excerpt for BETTER LOVE by Daisy Prescott that is releasing on November 1st. This book is a standalone, romantic comedy, and it is the 4th book in the Wingmen series. Check out the exclusive pre-order link on iBooks for BETTER LOVE and links for the previous books in the series!



BETTER LOVE by Daisy Prescott
Releasing November 1, 2016 (Wingmen, #4)



Maybe that old song got it right.

Maybe love can be better the second time around.

When one of my wingmen needs help, I’ll do anything for him, including calling in a favor with the one person I swore I’d never speak to again.

Not after I walked away from that life five years ago and ditched the trappings of my success. The keyword being trap.

I left it all behind.

Including her.

Now the ambitious, brilliant, talented, and undeniably beautiful Roslyn Porter is back in my life. I’m not the same person she knew. I’m trying to be a better man.

No man is an island, but Dan Ashland comes close. He’s content with his quiet life on Whidbey, a world away from the rat race on the other side of the ferry.

Dan has three great loves in his life: solitude, pizza, and Roslyn Porter.

Better Love is a standalone second chance romance featuring Dan Ashland and the fourth book in the Wingmen series.










In the end, I agreed to help out with the Naked Whidbey calendar.

For a good cause. How could I say no?

I lied to myself it wasn’t to see Roslyn again.

Most definitely wasn’t motivated by testing her reactions to me being naked.

Not that I’d be full frontal in front of Cari or anyone else.

Unlike a few of the other “models,” I wasn’t an exhibitionist.


I wanted to know if she’d show up.

If she’d ogle or look away.

I needed to know if I could get a reaction out of her.

If I could crack her professional facade.

I had to know if somewhere beneath her armor, I could still make her heart beat a little faster.

We scheduled the shoot for early on a Sunday when the restaurant would be closed. Cari kept talking about the morning light and a golden hour. Whatever that meant. All I knew was Erik promised to bring coffee. Lots of coffee.

Once the lighting and her camera had been set up, Cari shooed everyone from the kitchen before instructing me to disrobe. The heat from the brick oven warmed my chest and arms. I’d suggested the apron around my waist for the “more is less” approach.

When I fired up the oven, I’d made a few prop pizzas, not knowing how much of the pizza man persona Cari wanted or needed for the photo.

I stood with the pizza peel in one hand and my back to the camera, following her commands to shift and change my position for maximum… something.

I felt the cold air hit my backside when the door opened.

“Sorry, I’m late! I missed the ferry by three cars and had to wait for the next … bo …oat.” Roslyn’s voice sputtered out on the last word, turning it into two syllables. “Ohmygod. I didn’t mean to walk in on the shoot. I—“

A loud crash followed her words then a few soft bumps of a body hitting a chair and possibly a wall. Metal screeching from chair legs scraping across the cement floor and the soft splash of liquid hitting the ground rounded out the symphony of sounds before I turned around.

Beyond the bright studio lights set up behind me, I couldn’t make out more than silhouettes. Shading my eyes, I blinked into the dimmer light beyond the camera.

“Everything okay back there?”

Cari let loose a loud cackle. “That’s what happens when you show up late.”

Muffled words barely carried to where I stood, thankful for the apron slung low around my waist.

I waited for a sign nothing had been broken or damaged in the tornado of Roslyn’s arrival.

“It’s fine. We’re all fine. Everything’s okay,” Roslyn’s shaky and definitely not normal voice called out. “Carry on with what you were doing. I’m going to crawl outside and find a quiet place to die.”

“Don’t go on my account.” I stepped away from the oven, feeling a little bit like a hospital patient whose gown didn’t close in the back. “Don’t hurt yourself. I’m not even naked. More like pantsless and breaking a slew of health codes.”




Get READY TO FALL (Wingmen #1) for FREE!

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USA Today Bestselling Author Daisy Prescott writes romantic comedies about real love.

Her Modern Love Stories feature characters in their thirties and forties finding and rediscovering love in unexpected and humorous ways. Her Wingmen books star regular guys who often have beards, drive trucks, and love deeply once they fall.

Born and raised in San Diego, Daisy currently lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband and an imaginary house goat. When not writing about herself in the third person, Daisy can be found traveling, gardening, baking, or lost in a good book.

To learn more about Daisy and her writing, sign up for her mailing list here (copy and paste this link): . Send her an email at: daisyauthor AT gmail DOT com Or chat with her on Twitter (@daisy_prescott) and Facebook: /daisyprescottauthorpage, and follow her on Instagram: /daisyprescott


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Excerpt Reveal! Royally Screwed by Emma Chase – coming 10/18/16





royally-screwed-for-webEmma Chase, New York Times bestselling author of the Tangled Series & Legal Briefs Series, returns with the first of three sizzling standalone books about a family of racy, irresistible Royals.

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka “His Royal Hotness”, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant—hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.


Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately—the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia—Nicholas is worth it.


Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is, but more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.


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The next week is blissfully uneventful. I address Palace business during the day, and spend my nights with Olivia—which are so much more than blissful.

While I work, she relaxes like I want her to. She walks the grounds and has found a friend in Franny. They’ve had lunch together a few times, which doesn’t exactly thrill me, but at the very least, I know she’s safe with Simon’s wife.

Franny, and her forked tongue, will protect Olivia from the Lucy-types looking to wound her with their half-truths.

On the rare occasions my brother is sober, he becomes increasingly agitated—like he’s unable to sit still, to stand his own company, or any sound that resembles silence. Finally, he decides to throw a welcome home party for himself.

I’m in my bathroom preparing for his royal yacht party, just showered with a towel around my hips, scraping the last of the shaving cream off my jaw, when Olivia appears in the doorway.

I thought she was lovely from the first moment I saw her. But here, now—her bare, soft skin wrapped in a pink silk robe, her face glowing with well-rested happiness…she’s magnificent.

“So…do you guys have like a gift shop or a convenience store around here?”

I laugh. “A gift shop?”

She holds up a light blue disposable razor. “I’m out of razors. This one’s so dull I could run it over my tongue without drawing blood.”

“Let’s not test that theory. I like your tongue too much.” I wipe my chin with a towel. “I can have the staff bring one to your room.”

The devil on my shoulder—and the angel too—smack me upside the head. And they whisper a much better idea.

“Or…I could help you out.”

Her brows draw together. “Help me out? I can’t use your razor.”

“No, definitely not—you’d cut yourself to ribbons.” I finger the sharp, heavy straight blade. “What I mean is…I could shave for you.”

Her eyes darken, the way they do when she’s right on the edge—right before she comes. And she moves closer to me.

“Do you…want to do that?”

My gaze drags down, down, over every sumptuous inch of her body.

“Oh, yes.”





Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.


New Release!! 4.5 Stars for Burning Bond by Emma Hart + read and excerpt here!


BurningBond_FINAL-ebooklgBrody Bond. The youngest homicide detective in Holly Woods. My best friend’s younger brother.

Off. Freaking. Limits.

I’ve told myself that for the past five years, and I’m going to keep telling myself that. Besides—I’m kind-of dating Jason. I don’t need Brody. I shouldn’t even want him, but want him, I do.

Not that I have time to think about it. With Noelle and Drake in Mexico for two weeks, I’m holding down the fort at Bond P.I. Or I was… until I stumbled upon a young woman who’d been attacked while walking my dog.

Jason thinks it’s the latest in a long line of gang-rapes happening across three states. Brody thinks I’ve added a target to my back. Getting to the bottom of it is at the top of my to-do list.

Two men, both determined to protect me.

I think I could love one. I’m almost certain I’m in love with the other.

Ride or die just got a whole lot realer.



My Review:

4.5/5 Stars!!!

Emma Hart scorches the pages once again with the next book in the Holly Woods Files!  This time we get Rebekah and Brody’s story and let me tell you…it is HAWT!

Rebekah “Beks” is left alone to run Bond P.I. while her best friend is vacationing out of the country and as happens with Beks and Noelle, trouble happens.  Beks accidently stumbles on a crime in progress and it affects her deeply.  Once again, she is caught between Jason, her FBI agent boyfriend and Brody, her best friend Noelle’s little brother.  Jason is distant and constantly off on assignment, so their relationship hasn’t really had a chance to get off the ground, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t care about him.  But, there is Brody, the guy she can’t deny she’s attracted to, even if he is “off-limits.”  A pretty heavy love triangle ensues all while dangerous killers are on the loose.

As we’ve come to expect with Emma Hart, the chemistry between Beks and Brody and even Jason, for that matter, is palpable and at times off the charts.  I know a lot of people don’t like love triangles in books, but it really works to tell the story here.  I honestly don’t think the book would have been nearly as good without that piece of the story.

Beks is sassy, smart, sexy and fun.  Jason has his moments.  But, Brody will have you falling in love from the start!

Emma Hart does it again with Burning Bond, so prepare yourself for some sizzling, sexy, romantic suspense!

***The book states this can be read as a standalone and it can without a doubt.  However, you will miss out on some of the characters and their mannerisms that were explained in the previous books of the series.  However, not having read them will not affect your read enough to deter you.



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“Danger! Danger! Danger!” Gio screams. “Danger! Neenaw neenaw neenaw!”

“Jesus Christ, Nonna!” Brody yells, rubbing his ear. “What the hell is that?”

Nonna stops. “He-a likes CSI.”

I blink. Gio watches CSI?

“You let your parrot watch murder TV shows?” I ask.

Si. He-a likes it.”

“Neenaw neenaw neenaw!” Gio flaps his wings.

“What is the neenaw about?” I say quickly when he stops.

“He-a is-a a police-a car,” Nonna says in the kind of dry tone that says I should know that.

Like it’s totally fucking normal for a parrot to pretend to be a police car.

“Nonna, you need a quieter pet,” Brody tells her. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

She snorts. “He will-a learn-a a fire engine next!”

“I’m leaving.” I grab my purse and stand up.

Nonna grabs my arm, stands me up, and spins me toward the dining room—and away from the wannabe siren with a heartbeat. “No. You-a must-a help me.”

“Nonna,” I say gently, hoping to placate her and trying not to think about the fact that I dropped my purse on the floor. “They haven’t set a wedding date. This can wait until they’re home.”

She shakes her head. “No. She-a does-a not-a care about-a napkins!”

I don’t blame her. I’m not gonna lie. I don’t care about napkins, either. At least, not right now. There are far bigger things to worry about.

“Neenaw!” Gio cries through the house.

Brody slams the dining room door, cutting him off. “That goddamn bird, Nonna.”

Nonna clasps her hand to her chest. “Take-a it-a back!”

“I’m going to damn you if you don’t get on with this. I’m supposed to be on a lunch break, not a torture break,” he grinds out. He grabs the samples and, flicking through them halfheartedly, selects the most god-awful pattern I’ve ever seen. “Here. This is nice.”

“If you’re blind,” I say sarcastically, reaching across and taking them from him.

It’s even uglier at closer look. I don’t know what Nonna was drinking when she picked these, but it must have been Moonshine or something. I can’t even describe the vile mixing of lace and satin on that swatch.

“One of these three.” I pull them from the clip and put them on the table. “Trust me. I’m not being responsible for Noelle having to wipe her mouth with a napkin that looks like it lost a fight with a paper shredder and a glue stick.”

“What’s wrong with the one I picked?” Brody asks me indignantly.

I cast my gaze upward. “It looks like it lost a fight with a paper shredder and a glue stick,” I say slowly so he gets every word. “No. I’ll be held responsible, and it’s not happening.”

Nonna wrinkles her nose as she puts her glasses on and examines the swatches I’ve handed her. Honestly, if she brings them any closer to her face, she’ll be able to feel them. Then she selects a fourth.

“I like-a this one.”

“No,” I say firmly. “One of these.” I hand her the best three.

Brody groans. “Why can’t she just use paper napkins?”



1p0a9045By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies – usually wine – and writes books.

Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.

She likes to be busy – unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.



Excerpt Teaser! Only For Your Touch by Naima Simone

Title: Only For Your Touch
Series: Lick #2
Author: Naima Simone
Release Date: Oct 10, 2016

The Boston press calls her the Mob Princess. I call her trouble.

Discretion is my business, and the reporters dogging her every step are bad news. She’s looking to rebel, to tarnish her naïve “good girl” image by getting dirty with me. I gave up a career as a thief, but Corrine Salvaggi’s wide eyes and sinful mouth damn near begs me to steal her innocence. To corrupt her.

Lucky for her, I deal in sex.

Whatever your fantasy, I deliver. Voyeurism. Threesomes. A little slap and tickle.…

If it’s your kink, I can fulfill it.

So yeah, life is good. Simple.

Until she enters my club.


It’s just sex. Our little secret.

For now…

Chapter One
Sasha Merchant knew trouble.
In his very checkered lifetime, he’d been the cause of it, been balls-deep in it, and had escaped it. So yeah, he and trouble were intimate partners, a match made in hell. And even though it now walked through the doors of Lick in the form of a stunning redhead with curves that demanded a man take them hard and fast, he wasn’t fooled by the pretty wrapping.
Or as his mother used to say: Volk v ovech’yey shkurye. Wolf in sheep’s pelt.
Maybe he should say fox’s pelt. Because with her bright hair and petite frame, she reminded him of his Russian homeland’s small, red fox. Didn’t matter in the end though. Fox or sheep, the woman was an ill wind that needed to be monitored…and blown back out the door, if necessary.
“You see who just came in?” The deep, gravel-rough voice that belonged to his best friend, Killian Vincent, rumbled in his ear from the discreet piece notched there.
Sasha once more glanced toward the front of the club where more people streamed in through the steel doors. Though he, Killian, and Rion Ward, the third member of their unholy trio, owned Lick equally, Killian often oversaw security. All of them had control issues—as in, needing to have it—but Killian even more so. But when someone else decided what you wore and ate, and when you fucking took a shit, for two years, yeah, control became important. So they let him supervise that aspect of their club. Hell, having a huge, scowling hulk on the premises was often a better deterrent to troublemakers than their many cameras.
“Yeah, I got eyes on her,” Sasha said, tracking the slow progress of the redhead and her friend through the thick crowd. It might’ve been eleven o’clock on a Thursday, but that didn’t matter. If the night ended in “y” then they were packed. It’d been that way since they’d opened their doors a year earlier. Everyone, it seemed, wanted to drink, dance, and find their next hookup in Boston’s newest and most exclusive aphrodisiac club.
Including Corrine Salvaggi, aka The Mob Princess.
“What the hell do you think she’s doing here?” Killian asked as Rion approached the end of the bar where Sasha stood. “Considering the shitstorm that’s circling her, you’d think her family would have her on lockdown.”
“I don’t know,” Sasha rumbled. “But it seems her breaking out of the castle is now our problem, if anyone recognizes her. Goddamn.”
“Exactly.” Rion nodded his thanks at the bartender who slid a tumbler in front of him. Kentucky bourbon, his favorite. “The last thing we need is the Salvaggi family sniffing around here, searching for their wayward royalty. Or worse, having the press associate Lick with them. Even if it’s just in a byline.”
Sasha understood what Rion meant. Perfectly.
Lick was the public face of their business. With its two bustling bars and top-shelf alcohol, dancing, and VIP lounges, the nightclub had quickly become one of the hottest spots to party in Boston. And then there was the aura of sex they deliberately cultivated. From the sensual photographs on the walls to barely and sexily clad men and women dancing on raised platforms to the shadowed alcoves where people kissed and slipped hands under clothes, to the private VIP rooms…sex permeated the atmosphere.
But while the nightclub teased with sex, the private, upper level of Lick—The Loft—delivered on that promise. And catered to more…exotic tastes. Of the sexual variety. Whatever their members desired, they supplied. And in exchange for the admittedly excessive prices people paid for membership, The Loft’s clientele expected discretion and a safe, secure, and protected place to indulge in their sexual fantasies and preferences. So having reporters snooping around trying to catch pictures of Carmine Salvaggi’s daughter partying it up would understandably make them a bit antsy.
Lick was more than income to the men. The three of them had been to hell and back to reach where they were today. Free of the Irish mob. Escapees from the criminal world. Business owners with a modicum of respectability. Of legitimacy. This club represented their new life. Their freedom.
For Sasha, it was his promise to a dying woman.
His parents had left Moscow when Sasha was six, after the Cold War ended and the Soviet Union dissolved. They’d immigrated to America, specifically Boston, seeking a better life and more opportunity. An academic in Russia, his proud father had only been able to find work as a janitor at the local elementary school. But to Val Merchant, it’d still been honest work. And having a son who’d willingly chosen a life of crime—even if it’d been the impulsive decision of a youth who hadn’t felt he’d belonged anywhere else—had been unforgiveable. But two years ago, before dying from complications of COPD, Anna Merchant had come to him and extracted a vow from Sasha: to become the respectable man she’d raised him to be.
He’d sacrificed everything to honor that promise. And even though some days this new life itched like a too-tight, uncomfortable shirt, he wouldn’t allow a pampered, rebelling mob socialite to fuck it up.
“I’ll watch her,” he volunteered, voice grim.
Rion shot him a sharp glance, and Sasha clenched his jaw, easily interpreting the look. Worry. Indecision. Yeah, he got his friend’s doubt. It irritated the fuck out of him, but he got it. Because underneath the annoyance—and in spite of his resentment of Corrine Salvaggi’s presence in their club—a curl of anticipation whispered through him. And Rion probably knew it.
Of the three of them, Sasha still struggled with the life they left behind the most, walking that fine line between legitimacy and craving the thrill, the pure adrenaline rush, of breaking the law. While Rion had never wanted it, and Killian feared it with an animalistic, whites-of-their-eyes terror, Sasha had only walked away because of a promise and his love for his friends. So putting him on someone who had ties to an organized crime family was like waving a bottle of water in front of a man who’d just crawled in from the desert.
“I’ll be fine,” Sasha assured him. “I’m just keeping eyes on her. And considering who she is, Killian won’t do it.” Two years out of jail and still on probation, Killian couldn’t risk being associated with even the daughter of a criminal.
That left Sasha.
Rion’s mouth flattened into a grim line as he nodded then tossed back the rest of his whiskey.
“Maybe she’s just here to drink and dance like everyone else,” Sasha said. Rion didn’t reply, just arched a dark eyebrow.
Yeah, Sasha didn’t believe it either. Not with his gut tightening like a damn noose. That sixth sense had never failed him on a job, and right now it was affirming what he’d thought when he’d first laid eyes on the Mob Princess.
When Corrine Salvaggi decided to rebel, she rebelled.
Of course, her idea of rebellion had been turning off her cell phone and hiding out at her friend Tara’s house. Or sneaking past the relentless, greedy-ass reporters parked outside her parents’ home before speeding off to find an out-of-the-way bar to watch Big Papi and her beloved Sox.
But never had dressing up in her underwear—or rather, Tara’s underwear—and partying in a sex club entered her mind. Jesus, an honest-to-God sex club. And right here in Boston, not twenty minutes from her house. She’d thought they only existed in pay-per-view movies and books about paddle-wielding millionaires. Apparently, she was more naïve than the press reported. Although, she wasn’t rebelling as much as escaping from the crapfest her life had transformed into. Still, partying in a place that would have her mother clutching her rosary was pretty much perfect for escape and mutiny.
Damp with sweat, Corrine followed Tara off the crowded dance floor, tugging on the bottom of the borrowed green-and-black lace corset, trying to cover her belly without exposing her damn nipples to the entire place. When Tara had thrust the Frederick’s of Hollywood garment in her hands earlier, Corrine should’ve just said hell-to-the-no and found that sports bar. This get-up—the corset that nearly shoved her breasts up to her damn chin, the painted-on black jeans, and knee-high leather boots—wasn’t her. Hell, her bras and panties weren’t this damn revealing. Or…sexual. With every breath, she feared her breasts were going to make an unscheduled appearance. She skimmed her palms over her hips, not accustomed to them being so blatantly…displayed.
“Stop fidgeting.” Tara teasingly slapped her hand.
“I can’t help it,” Corrine grumbled. “I still feel naked.”
“Shit, if I had your tits and ass, I’d go around with no clothes on all the time,” Tara shouted over her shoulder as she weaved her way through the heavy throngs of people. “And then throw in all that red hair and the ‘I’m just a babe in the woods’ innocence? I’d have to duck and dodge all the dick that would come my way.”
“Uh… Thanks?”
Her friend laughed, and moments later maneuvered into a tight, open spot at the packed bar. “What you need is a drink. I don’t know what I was thinking. If we’d had one before heading to the dance floor, you wouldn’t have minded having that hottie’s hands on your ass.”
“Oh, I’m sure I would’ve still minded,” Corrine drawled. “And for the record, I don’t ever want to be that drunk. He didn’t even say hello first.”
Tara snickered before turning and flagging down the bartender. Propping her elbows on the chrome railing, Corrine surveyed Lick. Just the name was erotic and shiver-inducing. She still hadn’t managed to say it without whispering.
The huge converted warehouse pulsed with the heavy bass of the music, while people writhed and twisted with abandon on the dance floor and stage. More than a few kissed and groped each other as they ground their bodies together, providing a sexual show. Men and women in outfits straight out of the Bondage ’R’ Us catalogue danced on spotlighted platforms and paraded around in leather and latex. She blinked as a woman in a shiny, black catsuit and a head covering that revealed her face and a high, blond ponytail strolled past, a bare-chested man in blue jeans following behind her…on a leash.
Wow. Just…wow. She shook her head, her survey moving on to the evenly spaced halogen lights revealing more people partying in the glass-enclosed balconies, crowding around the wide, long bars that dominated each side of the building, and drinking on the chairs at the high tables dotting the area around the dance floor. And tucked in the shadowed corners…
Corrine swallowed, a ball of heat swirling low in her belly. She exhaled, trying to expel even a little of the tension pulling tight inside her. People occupied low couches and booths along the exposed brick walls. Even in the dim lighting, she could make out the couples kissing, the sensual sweep of hands over exposed skin. She couldn’t hear words or groans or sighs over the pounding of the music, but her imagination supplied them. Vividly. The heat inside her expanded and stretched until it congregated in the flesh between her legs. They didn’t care who saw them. Didn’t worry about decorum or reputation, or being proper and pure. Didn’t go behind the door marked “Private” and guarded by bodyguards, which, rumor had it, led to an area where they could do a lot more than kissing. No, they probably knew eyes were on them and welcomed it. Enjoyed it.
God. What did that kind of freedom feel like? Again, she had only her imagination to provide the answer because she’d never experienced it. Being the only daughter of Carmine Salvaggi had meant growing up in the most beautiful, luxurious, and loving of cages. Yes, she’d executed a prison break or two, but she’d never experienced the kind of utter liberation the people on the couches did… But she’d always wanted to.
In the last week, that cage had become more stifling and confusing, and frightening. Because up until seven days ago, she’d believed her father had been a successful businessman with a thriving and growing chain of dry-cleaning stores throughout Boston. Definitely not the boss of the Salvaggi family, one of the oldest, most vicious, and notorious mob organizations in the city.
Closing her eyes, she braced herself for the stab of pain that stole her breath. She should be used to it by now. But how could a person become accustomed to having her soul ripped out over and over like a really fucked-up version of Prometheus and his liver-eating eagle? How could she come to grips with comprehending that the same man who had tucked her in at night, had held and comforted her while she’d cried, had raised her to be honest and respectful, was the same who had run drugs throughout the city, extorted hardworking people…ordered hits. Her life was a lie, and she’d never guessed, never seen…
“Stop it.” Tara wagged a finger in Corrine’s face, and she reeled back, startled.
“Tara, damn. I know I have another eye, but I’d like to keep that one,” she grumbled.
“Don’t deflect,” her friend ordered, propping her hands on her slim hips. “Your thoughts are all over your face. We came here to forget and have a good time. And that’s what you’re going to do, damn it.”
“Um. Yes, sir.” She blinked. “Ma’am.”
Tara smirked, dropping her hand. “Smart ass.” Accepting the Fuzzy Navels she’d ordered from the bartender, who wouldn’t have been out of place lounging around Hefner’s mansion, she pressed one into Corrine’s hand. “Drink. Loosen up.”
“I’m in a sex club where people are…” Corrine nodded in the direction of the couches with the tangle of bodies. Fully clothed, but still… “I believe I’m loosened up.”
“Pfft. That’s nothing. This”—Tara swept out an arm, narrowly missing the woman standing next to her—“is the public section of the club. The nightclub. Rumor is there’s a whole ’nother part upstairs—the real sex club—that is downright kinky. We’re talking stuff that would make Christian Gray and his Red Room look like a kindergartener in a sandbox.”
Corrine had never read the book or seen the movie about the BDSM-loving millionaire, but she got the gist of Tara’s comment. Unbidden, she lifted her gaze to the ceiling and the supposed “upstairs.” Her active and rich imagination supplied images of what could be taking place at that very moment above their heads.
A woman, blindfolded and naked, spread-eagle and bound on a bed. Her head tipped back, lips parted on a silent scream, fingers jerking on the ties at her wrists as a man buried his head between her trembling thighs.
A woman, arms captured behind her back, kneeling on the floor before her man, mouth opened wide as he slowly fed her his cock.
A woman, breasts pressed to a leather-padded bench, her bared ass propped in the air, quivering in anticipation and lust from the caress of a paddle over reddened flesh…and from the eyes fixed on her, eagerly watching her submission and pleasure.
Corrine briefly closed her eyes. Oh yes, she had a very active and vivid imagination. One that sent hot swirls of arousal curling through her.
“I’ll be right back,” she said, setting her drink down behind her. “Bathroom break.” As if the hounds of hell snapped at her heels, she forged a path through the horde toward the rear of the club, where she remembered seeing the sign for the restrooms.
For twenty-four years, she’d hidden her desires, her dreams, her needs, behind this good-girl image that reflected who her parents, with their often rigid expectations, wanted her to be. Demanded she be. But since her father had been arrested and indicted, and the truth of who he was—who she was—had emerged, the cuffs of their standards had started to chafe. The urges, thoughts, and impulses she’d tried to ignore or deny had been rearing their heads more often. Why should she twist and contort to fit this ideal of perfection when all of them were far from it? Why was she still hiding a perfectly respectable career as a sports columnist from them when her job didn’t include extorting, cheating, or killing people?
And why did she sound like a pouting sixteen-year-old angry at her parents’ hypocrisy?
Maybe because she was a brooding twenty-four-year-old angry at her parents’ hypocrisy.
Sighing, she pushed into the dim hallway that housed the bathrooms.
And promptly slammed into someone exiting the corridor. The impact propelled the breath out of her, and a dull throbbing set up in the bridge of her nose. Damn. Awkward much?
“Oh God, I’m so sorry.” A firm grip circled her upper arm, preventing her from stumbling backward. “Are you hurt? This is my fault. I should’ve been watching where I was going.” The babbling accompanied a tad-too-hard pat on the shoulder. “I’m sorry,” the guy who’d nearly sent her falling on her ass apologized again.
“It’s okay, I’m fine,” she assured him, cautiously touching her nose. “Really.” She smiled, sidestepping his hand. Any more of his apologetic patting, and he still might send her tumbling backward.
“Wow, this is embarrassing,” he grumbled, mirroring her thoughts as he dragged his fingers through his dark hair. Her smile widened. Finally, someone who looked how she felt—out of place. In his khakis and polo shirt, he appeared more country club than nightclub. His gaze dropped and lingered for a long second on her chest, before—to his credit—he jerked his attention back to her face. “Listen, uh, can I buy you a drink?” he blurted, then winced. “Damn, that was smooth…”
She couldn’t help it; she chuckled. If he’d shown up on her family’s doorstep, he was the kind of man her mother would gladly have ushered into the living room and filled with dinner and news about how her daughter needed “a nice young man in her life.” He did seem nice, even if he didn’t set off any tingles below her belly button. But what the hell? It was a drink.
“Sure, I—”
“You have somewhere else to be.” The new, dark voice sent a cascade of shivers skipping over her skin. She shifted her gaze from her would-be suitor to the looming presence behind him. And though the statement had been directed toward the man in front of her, she shivered. But it wasn’t just the flat, ominous tone that had her trembling…
Holy shit.
Instead of sporting a braided mohawk, this man had blond hair cropped close to his head. And a severe black suit and white shirt adorned his tall, wide frame in place of a leather tunic, leggings, and a broad sword, but still… It could’ve been the legendary warrior from the History Channel’s show Vikings who shifted forward and almost inserted himself in between her and her almost bar date. The other man’s jaw unhinged, and he gaped up…and up…at the blond giant.
Jesus. She blinked, part of her concerned over how pale the smaller man became when Ragnar pinned him with a hard stare. He didn’t utter a word. Just…stared. Whew. That kind of magnetism was…hot.
She couldn’t help studying the interloper. He demanded to be stared at. His profile could’ve been carved from a slab of marble. Sharp, almost harshly cut cheekbones, the slant of his nose, the slash of his mouth, and the rock-hard edge of his jaw—they combined to form a face that inspired fear. And lust. Both emotions twisted and tangled inside her, whirling and gaining strength with each rotation.
“Uh.” The other—smaller—man coughed. “Excuse me.”
“I need to speak with you,” the Viking rumbled to her while flicking a dismissive, steely glance to her would-be suitor.
He didn’t sound like a Viking. With that faint but melodic accent, maybe a tsar. Or a bogatyr, one of the famed warriors in old Russian legends. The slight lengthening of his vowels and softening of consonants brought to mind blinding-white, icy landscapes with a stark, primal beauty. Just like its speaker. Heat fluttered in her sex, flames licking at her flesh, her clit. Up until this moment, she hadn’t believed a voice could be foreplay. But the thought of his low, deep growl in her ear, murmuring explicit, dirty details of what he wanted to do to her and how he expected her to please him had her already creeping to the ledge of orgasmic abyss.
“Um, okay,” she murmured, surprise winging though her. “But I was just going to have a drink with…”
“N-no,” the other guy stammered, already edging past them. “That’s fine. I’m fine. It’s no problem…” Whatever else he said trailed off as he fled out of the corridor and into the crowd.
Leaving her alone with the Viking.
He turned toward her, and she met his stare for the first time.
Again, electricity crackled through her, and if she glanced down, she wouldn’t have been surprised if the hairs on her arms stood at attention. Bolts of lightning could’ve struck the floor in between them, and she still wouldn’t have been able to look away. His face was an artist’s delight of angles, planes, and curves, but the eyes…they were the masterpiece. Exotic and almond-shaped, the piercing blue and gray reminded her of a wolf’s predatory gaze.
Some of the men who’d come to visit her father had possessed that kind of stare. Then, she’d shuddered, hating their scrutiny on her, longing to escape it. And with good reason, she’d later found out, considering the killers she now knew were her father’s “associates.”
Unlike those men, though, if this blond giant had stood in their house, his focus pinned on her, something told her she wouldn’t have minded. Wouldn’t have avoided it but courted it. Done anything to keep it.
She shook her head as if she could dislodge the inane thought. Tara’s talk of kinky, secret dungeons had her mind skipping down a path marked “Not in This Lifetime.” Men like him didn’t notice women like her. He probably had women like the bartender—gorgeous, confident, and sexy, with a killer body—occupying his bed. The only thing the bartender and Corrine had in common was the size of their breasts, thanks to her mother and her busty Irish roots.
“Uh, you said you needed to speak with me,” she rasped, then cleared her throat and tried again. “I’m not sure—”
“You should go,” he warned, his voice softer but firm. Cold.
Again, surprise struck her, and she reran the last couple of minutes through her head, trying to figure out what she could’ve done that earned his displeasure.
“But I didn’t do anything…” She held her hands out, palms up.
“It’s not what you’ve done,” he murmured, shifting closer so only mere inches separated them.
The wide set of his shoulders blocked out her view of…everything. His scent—sweet and earthy like freshly cut wood—surrounded her, invading her nose and settling on her tongue, smothering the odors of incense, sweat, and perfume that permeated the hallway. And when that almost eerie gaze dipped from her face to stroke her neck, shoulders, and linger on the bared swell of her breasts, her nipples pinched tight beneath the cups of the corset. She squeezed her thighs against the throbbing, and almost as if he could decipher the action, his regard dropped even lower, studying her body. Unless the man sported a blue unitard with a crimson “S” emblazoned across the front beneath his suit, then he didn’t possess X-ray vision. So there was no way he could detect the softening and swelling of her sex or the damp evidence of her arousal on her panties. But God, when he returned his scrutiny to her face, the knowledge in those narrowed, bright eyes had her second-guessing. And shifting backward.
“It’s not what you’ve done,” he repeated, reclaiming the space she’d placed between them. “It’s who you are…princess.”
Shock and pain punched her in the chest. She hated, fucking detested, that nickname; the Mob Princess—the moniker the press had given her—humiliated her. It illuminated not only her ignorance but the lifestyle she’d grown up in—a lifestyle built and paid for by the grief, loss, and blood of others.
Shoving down her shame, she tilted her chin up, met that intimidating stare. “Are you telling me to leave or suggesting?”
Surprise flickered in his eyes. “I’m strongly suggesting,” he said after a long moment.
“Well, thank you for the advice, but unless you’re the owner of this place, I doubt you can suggest I do anything…” She smiled, and it felt brittle and fake on her lips. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.” She circled his big frame and headed toward the mouth of the corridor. Forget the bathroom. She’d originally sought it out for a moment of peace, but all it’d brought was drama.
“I am the owner, princess. And you don’t belong here.”
The dark velvet of his voice halted her in her tracks just as much as the harsh words. Slowly, she pivoted. Calling on every ounce of deportment her mother had drummed into her, she faced her rescuer-turned-condemner and cocked her head. “Because of my father? Do you vet the family tree of everyone who enters this club, or am I just special?”
“You’re special given that most people can’t claim a mafia boss as their parent. But you’re something else, too, lisichka.” He stalked closer, and her impression of a marauding warrior focused on pillaging and conquering intensified. Once more, he didn’t stop until his body heat reached out to her, teased her. Until she was eye level with the steady pulse at the base of his strong throat. The urge to lean forward and lick it gripped her and shook her like a rag doll. “Innocent,” he said, lowering his head so close she could taste his breath on her lips. “Too damn innocent for whatever you came here looking for. This isn’t the place for your little rebellion.”
“I’m not—”
“Rebelling?” he interrupted, an eyebrow several shades darker than his pale blond hair arching. “Or innocent? The hell you aren’t here as some kind of ‘fuck you’ to whoever—your father, your family, the world. Otherwise why show up only days after your safe little world’s imploded? But the other? Yeah, I could be a little wrong about that. After all, innocents don’t tremble when they stare at two women kissing and rubbing their pussies together on a dance floor. Or men and women just a zipper pull or a shift of panties away from fucking. They run the other way, not slide the tip of their tongue over their bottom lip like they want a taste.”
She parted her lips, but nothing emerged. Images—the searing fantasies that had her twisting in her bed, had her sneaking a hand between her legs—tumbled in her head like clothes in a dryer. She longed to give him a nonchalant, this-ain’t-my-first-rodeo comeback, but couldn’t speak—lust trapped the words in her throat. How long had he been watching her? And how could he tell what her secret desires were with that short observation? She wasn’t a virgin—as much as it would probably kill her parents to know. While she might not be as, ah, free as Tara, she owned her sexuality, wasn’t ashamed of her body, and loved to be touched.
Though, to be honest, lately her vibrator had been doing more touching than a man.
So, tonight, everything she’d seen had struck a carnal chord in her. Had her hungry for something that had been unlocked but never opened.
And God, staring at this man with his wolf eyes and searing sexuality, she wanted to be cracked open.
He cocked his head, a corner of that full, sensual, almost cruel mouth lifted. That small half smile, the glint in his eyes—they called to her, seemed to invite her closer even though that same mouth had just told her to hit the bricks.
Slowly nodding, he leaned forward. “No, lisichka, maybe not so innocent. But definitely hungry. The question is, do you even know what you’re starving for?”
Hungry. The truth in his statement hit her like a freight train—knocking her on her ass, undeniable. She was hungry. For freedom. To be seen. To be acknowledged. For more.
“Show me,” she said…and waited. Unsure whether he would straighten and order her to get the hell out. Or… Damn, the thought of “or” had her trembling.
The skin across his sharp cheekbones tautened, his mouth appearing fuller, more carnal. His blue-gray scrutiny became hooded, and she swallowed a gasp at the heat that damn near singed her skin.
He lifted one arm, and then the other, flattening his palms on either side of her head and lowering his head until their mouths were only a breath apart. “Show you what? Ask me for it,” he ordered. “If you can’t say it, you can’t handle it.”
“I want…” She paused, gathered her courage. Started again. “I want you to…touch me.”
“Not enough,” he murmured against her mouth, pressing his forearms against the wall and eliminating another inch of space between them. She inhaled, dragging in the dark, sweet, caramel-like flavor of whatever he’d been drinking, and damn, she wanted to suck it off his tongue. Lick it off that sensual bottom lip. His chest brushed hers, and she clenched her teeth, jailing a moan. “Try it again,” he insisted. “What do you want from me? Just admit it, baby. I noticed how you watched those girls on the dance floor and especially the couples on the couches. I already know what you want…need. So, just. Say. It.”
She had—she so had watched them, envying them, wanting to be them. If she just opened her mouth, she could be them.
“I…” Again her voice broke off, but she pushed on. “I want you to make me come.”
He stilled, but then in an explosion of movement, he gripped her wrist and yanked her forward, the passion—not violence—in his movements nearly undoing her. She followed, trying not to trip over her feet as he pressed the handle on the door at the back of the hallway and pulled her behind him.
The brisk September air wrapped around them, but it didn’t do a thing to cool off her overheated skin. He halted under a fire escape and yanked the end of the ladder down, and it lowered with a loud, rusty whine. He unbuckled his belt and whipped it through the loops of his pants. Once, twice, he looped and tied the leather around her wrists, before securing the ends through the bottom rung, stretching her arms above her head.
“Now you’ve gone and done it, lisichka,” he murmured, the soft tone a direct contrast to the firm, almost grim line of his mouth and the hard glint in his hooded gaze.
Oh, yes. Boy, had she.
Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown and Linda Howard many years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights— creating stories of unique men and women who experience the first bites of desire, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bullet proof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern United States.